Google Soon to Link Directly to Rivals – In Europe

Google Europe

Could Bing search results soon appear in your Google? Maybe — but only if you’re in Europe.

In response to the claims that its abusing its dominant marketshare position, Google has proposed some major changes to how it presents its search results.

In one of these proposed solutions, which were submitted a few weeks ago, Google said it could link directly to rival search engines like Bing and Yandex in its search results. Google said it will also more clearly label which results come from services like YouTube and Google Maps, and which of its search results are promoted ones.

The European Union is giving interested parties a month to comment on the proposals, though it’s very likely companies like Microsoft are going to want a bit more out of Google.


Google map results

Other measures would let websites more easily prevent Google from indexing their content, which means that a site like VentureBeat could  prevent Google from using its content in, say,  Google News. (Though who knows how many sites would be nutty enough to do that.)

Perhaps the most interesting proposal, however, is the last one. Google said it will  ”no longer impose obligations that would prevent advertisers from managing search advertising campaigns across competing advertising platforms.” If the European Union was looking for evidence of anti-competition, it’s certainly found it with that particularly tactic.

Of course, all of these measures only affect Google’s operations in Europe, where the company commands roughly 90 percent of the search market. Reaction to Google’s practices in the U.S., where its marketshare is closer to 67 percent, is a tad more subdued.